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Zugzwang

Virtue

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Zugzwang

Ward wanted to kill someone before the end of his life. The idea of an action so profound, an action to which there is no equivalent, convinced Ward it was something he had to experience.

 

He had to find someone who deserved it, as he had morals. His morals, however, were not based on compelling emotions but rather on cool logic. Calm analysis of potential choices is where his sense of ethics came from. It was some mutation of traditional utilitarianism; the action that created the most happiness was the right one.

 

“Why do they call you Ozymandias?”

 

“It’s an honorary title...” He said with a look of contempt

 

Ward wasn’t really sure why he tortured the man- maybe he just wanted to know what that felt like too. Part of it, however, probably stemmed from a different curiosity- he was wondering whether or not he could bring himself to inflict certain injuries.

 

Ward was troubled by many ailments, but perhaps the one that disturbed him most was his intrusive thoughts. Every day, with no obvious cause, he would imagine himself being hurt in gruesome ways that made him clench and shiver. The most profound disturbances were when he imagined his face being destroyed with the swing of a baseball bat, his genitals mutilated in various ways, or his shin bones being smashed with a hammer. He had already smashed Ozymandias shins but could not bring himself to do the other two.

 

But he had justified the shinbone smashing. By his logic, Ozymandias would experience very intense pain, but it would only last a little while. However, these images, these ‘fantasies’ that troubled him would be mitigated for years all by conducting something that hurt Ozymandias for only a couple minutes. Furthermore, Ward figured, he would be a much more pleasant person if he wasn’t troubled with these fantasies all the time meaning the people around him would reap some joy as well.

 

“No matter what bones you break, what skin you slice... No matter what pain you cause, I will be eternal” Ozymandias had shaking eyes

 

“No. I will break you”

 

 

Ward would cross all boundaries so he would never fear one again; he wished to be able to suspend what empathy he had when he needed to- if he ever needed to.

 

“Do you have kids?”

 

“No”

 

“What will be left of you then?” Ward was doing this almost mechanically; he didn’t think about a single word before he said it.

 

“My works”

 

He couldn’t really decide when he should kill the man. He didn’t know if he missed something; forgot some cruelty that he needed to experience. He looked at the bloodied, broken man in the chair and realized there was still a realm of agony he needed to learn about.

 

“Alright, your turn”

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Ziggy455

Woah. Sorry I didn't pick up on this earlier. I gotta say, I enjoyed this. You've definitely got some skill with words. I can't really fault you for much. You've got a solid character with internal conflict. However I've noticed that you don't punctuate your dialogue. It's simple really.

 

 

“No matter what bones you break, what skin you slice... No matter what pain you cause, I will be eternal!” Ozymandias had shaking eyes.

 

“No. I will break you.” 

 

Just a simple period would suffice or if you're explaining the dialogue, a comma will do. For example:

 

 

"Holy crap, look at that," said John as he pointed up towards the blackened sky.

 

See what I mean? Let's see where you're going with this.

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